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When is a rally not really a rally? Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday that if the markets aren't being led higher by the right types of stocks, then it probably won't have much staying power.
Today's rally, for instance, has been led by consumer packaged goods, value-oriented retailers and some niche technology stocks. Cramer said while that's fine for a short-term rally, the markets really need to see the financials, technology and healthcare sectors to move as they make up the bulk of our economy.
The consumer stocks are only rallying because they're the least risky and most consistent, Cramer said. Meanwhile, the value retail stocks are only rallying because customers are fleeing the mall. That may be good for Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Ulta Salon (ULTA) but few others. As for tech, it looks like only a handful of names, including Nvidia (NVDA) and Texas Instruments (TXN) , were able to eek out gains on the day.
That leaves little else to send the market higher, Cramer concluded. While some traders may fear Britain's upcoming vote to leave the EU will send the market sharply lower, Cramer countered that the event, if it goes that way, will be far less traumatic than most people fear.
Tarnished Jewelry Stocks
After posting a lackluster year in 2015, the jewelry stocks have seemingly fallen off a cliff this year, with names like Tiffany (TIF) off 19% for the year and Signet Jewelers (SIG) plunging 30%. But should investors be looking for bargains among this group? Cramer thinks not.
Cramer last spoke about Signet back in October and since then some of the company's customers have accused it of losing or replacing their diamonds with those of lesser quality. While Signet denies these charges, Cramer argued that the hit to the company's reputation will make fewer people want to shop there.
Signet also has a problem with its credit portfolio, which some investors fear has become too risky for the company to manage. They're also not pleased with Signet's acquisition of rival Zales, which was at the peak of the market.
Cramer characterized Tiffany as a caged animal with no real idea how to escape from its sales slump. The company's same-store sales declined by another 9% last quarter alone. Cramer said Tiffany is wildly mismanaged and is even worse at setting expectations for Wall Street.
Is there hope for Signet, which trades at just nine times earnings, or Tiffany at 16 times earnings? Cramer couldn't make a case for owning either.
Costco Charges Ahead
The big credit card switch at Action Alerts PLUS holding Costco (COST) is finally at hand, as the company today dropped American Express (AXP) in favor of rival Visa (V) . But that doesn't mean that investors should follow suit and rush to sell American Express and buy Visa, Cramer said.
There's no doubt that losing Costco as a customer hurts American Express. Shares of the company fell 6.4% when the news was first announced, Cramer noted, but Amex faces a number of even more challenging headwinds, like continued low interest rates and increasing competition. Meanwhile, shares of Visa are near all-time highs as the financial giant is immune to low rates and merely takes a small percentage of every transaction.
But Cramer said the biggest winner in this shakeup is Costco itself, which will not only save between $110 million and $220 million a year in transaction fees, but also opens itself up to millions more customers. That's why he reiterated his recommendation of Costco.
The Truth About Ventas
Healthcare real estate investment trust Ventas (VTR) has been under fire this year, with a slew of downgrades and negative press -- but its shares are still soaring, up 22% for the year to a new all-time high. Cramer dove in to figure out what's really going on.
Ventas is a real estate investment trust that operates in the healthcare space, Cramer explained, consolidating a fragment industry of hospitals, senior living facilities and other medical-oriented properties. The company has a history of making smart acquisitions to fuel its growth.
While it's true that Ventas is being hurt by rising interest rates, which make bonds more attractive against the company's 4.2% dividend yield, Cramer said the negative case against Ventas just doesn't make sense. Ventas recently spun off Care Capital Properties (CCP) , its skill nursing facilities, in response to concerns over falling Medicare payments. Earnings are decelerating, he admitted, but that's only because Ventas is slowing its acquisitions in what's becoming a frothy market.
Trading at 16 times earnings with a 4.2% yield and a track record of solid results, Cramer said he's not giving up on Ventas.
No Huddle Offense
In his "No Huddle Offense" segment, Cramer opined on the new pattern emerging in the oil patch. Oil goes up, oil stocks go up. But when oil goes down, oil stocks go down less.
Indeed, the fears of oil plunging to $30 a barrel again are slowly fading, and stocks including Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) are on the move. Oil service stocks including Core Labs (CLB) and Action Alerts PLUS holding Schlumberger (SLB) are also stronger while another AAP holding, Occidential Petroleum (OXY) , offers an attractive 4% yield.
Investors may have already missed the bottom, Cramer concluded, as the world's oil demand is slowly trumping OPEC's over-supply of crude.
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